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U.S. stocks leap on Ukraine ceasefire agreement

English.news.cn   2015-02-13 07:15:49

NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks witnessed broad gains Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index logging its highest level since March 2000, as investors cheered a ceasefire agreement on the Ukraine conflict.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 110.24 points, or 0.62 percent, to 17,972.38. The S&P 500 advanced 19.95 points, or 0.96 percent, to 2,088.48. The Nasdaq jumped 56.43 points, or 1.18 percent, to 4,857.61.

Shares of Apple, the top heavy weight in the tech-heavy index, rose for the fourth straight session Thursday, lifting the Nasdaq to close at its session high, also a new record since March 2000. The tech giant's shares increased nearly 15 percent from the start of the year.

Russia President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he and leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine had agreed on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine's frontlines and a ceasefire to begin from Feb. 15.

Boosted by the ceasefire, investors brushed aside tensions around Greek debt negotiations. Eurozone finance ministers' negotiations over Greek debt failed to yield an agreement Wednesday, with the talks scheduled to resume on Feb. 23.

On the economic front, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims in the week ending Feb. 7 was 304, 000, an increase of 25,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The data rose more than expected but the underlying trend was consistent with a strengthening labor market.

The advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January showed a decrease of 0.8 percent from the previous month, exceeding market expectations of a 0.5-percent decline, announced the Commerce Department Thursday.

"Retail sales outside of autos and gas had a strong 2014, but have weakened over the past two months. The slowdown in spending disrupts the narrative that lower gas prices will automatically lead to increased consumer purchases on other goods," said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

In corporate news, Cisco shares soared 9.39 percent to 29.46 dollars apiece after reporting a much stronger than excepted quarterly results. The network equipment maker said its second quarter net income for the period ending Jan. 24 increased 67.7 percent from a year ago to 2.4 billion dollars.

Shares of Tesla Motors tumbled 4.66 percent to 202.88 dollars apiece Thursday after the electric-car maker stunned Wall Street by delivering a fourth-quarter adjusted loss of 13 cents per share.

The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, dropped 9.55 percent to end at 15.34 Thursday.

In other markets, oil prices jumped as more producers lower spending and a weaker dollar encouraged buying.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery moved up 2.37 dollars to settle at 51.21 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), while Brent crude for December delivery rose 2. 39 U.S. dollars to close at 57.05 dollars a barrel.

The dollar lost against other currencies as the U.S. retail sales data came in worse than expected.

In late New York trading, the euro gained to 1.1414 dollars from 1.1297 dollars of the previous session, and the dollar bought 118.86 Japanese yen, lower than 120.29 yen of the previous session.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the Nymex rose as the dollar weakened after a Department of Labor report showed U.S. jobless claims rising.

The most active gold contract for April delivery went up 1.1 dollars, or 0.09 percent, to settle at 1,220.70 dollars per ounce.

Editor: An
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